Sunday, April 28, 2013


what you're doing right now and read this. It's really important!

studio news

 It has been a fertile time in the studio lately with much indigo dyeing and cocoon making going on. Here are some of the cocoons I'm working on - trying to get the shapes and structures right.
I'm using silk in a range of forms including dupion, organza, silk paper, fibre, thread and ribbon; mulberry bark, cotton, flywire netting and vintage linen.

Coming soon, a me-sized cocoon made of mulberry bark - such fun!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

whoop indigo!

After many weeks of thinking "I must start the indigo vat" I finally did it this afternoon.  And had a lovely play dyeing some fabric, my first spindle spun silk, a little practice shibori and overdyeing a wool/silk shawl that was previously too bright a pink for me, some meh coloured commercial threads and a hat which I think is made of raffia or sim.

Here are the results after 2 dips in the vat

Monday, April 22, 2013

Someone posted a link to this article on the Book of Faces and it reminded me of a game I play when I'm feeling a bit Eeyorish - which is counting my bits of lucky.

I agree with most of the 101 simple pleasures and thought of a few more of my own:
  • writing with real ink on real paper, preferably with a dip pen on lovely thick toothy paper
  • feeling the smooth pull of thread through fabric, especially silk or linen
  • the gentle rhythm of knitting
  • the gentle rhythm of spinning
  • feeling a small creature relax and feel safe as it snuggles into you
  • waking and hearing the regular breathing of your Best Beloved
  • new socks
  • hand-knitted socks
  • the just risen full moon
  • walking on a crisp winter's day
  • baking bread
  • buying presents
  • hugs
  • being oblivious to everything except the book you're reading
  • having cascades of creative ideas
  • looking out to sea
  • the smell of long-awaited rain
  • dead-heading roses
  • clean sheets
  • a really good cup of tea (leaf tea in a pot please - I have no truck with teabags)
  • not rushing
  • looking up
  • a cancelled appointment/meeting/social event
  • being remembered
  • stars in the desert
  • being chosen by a cat
  • snuggling back into bed on a cold rainy morning
  • meeting your new baby and thinking 'oh it's you'
  • realising how lucky you are

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

spinning silk

I have been applying myself to my spindle and have incorporated silk into my repertoire.  I started with a mixture of wool and silk fibres although I really need some carders as it was quite sticky and kept clumping to my great irritation.
Ergo elk, the wool/silk yarn is a little sparse. I will card the rest of the fibre before I spin any more.

But this evening I pulled out the silk cap I bought at the Guild last week and oh wow it is just gorgeous to spin. On my new spindle (also bought from the Guild) I can spin a fine, pretty consistent thread with a few slubs.  In half an hour I had spun this
To my surprise I find spinning silk is much easier than the merino I started with 2 weeks ago. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

spinning progress

My fibre friend Wil has taught me how to spin on a drop spindle. Something which looked impossibly difficult when I watched him nimbly spinning a fine and consistent yarn,  but it turns out to be incredibly relaxing and meditative, once you get the knack.
Luckily my Mother taught me to spin with a wheel when I was about 12  and I did some spinning about 5 years ago, so my fingers had the memory of drafting and easing the twist. It took a little while to get the rhythm of the spindle but I love it!
I think I will use this as a single and dye it with indigo, or possibly madder, and then do some freeform knitting, using it and copper wire.  And tomorrow I shall dig out some silk fibre and play with that.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

After spending months camped out in the intellectual side of my head and almost completely neglecting the creative, I am trying to redress the balance. Seeing the Anish Kapoor exhibition in Sydney last month reminded me of how starved my creative side has become: his work is overwhelming, mysterious and beguiling.

He does the most amazing things with colour and form on a scale that fills you with awe and delight. Here is the exhibition poster piece My Red Homeland

When I am Pregnant is totally bizarre and delightful

And my favourite - Memory - which takes mystery to a whole new level. Here is Kind Dog peering into the deep
And then the other side - monstrous, overwhelming, delicate and calm.

I was surprised by the complex emotional impact of this piece. It is huge yet fragile and crowds the space uncomfortably  - walking through the low entry point you feel its presence like a blow.  Despite its weight and size I was overwhelmed by its vulnerability (the feeling of being trapped yet barely contained). Even more surprisingly, I was filled with yearning and wanted to crawl into it and just disappear into oblivion.

experiments in thinking and stitching - playing with colour and form